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The planning and control mechanisms of governments and organisations have been sorely tested in this decade wherein the number of natural and man-made disasters have taken a toll on millions of lives and doomed the fortunes of scores of companies. It is therefore exigent to have proper mechanisms in place to anticipate and handle situations in case of any catastrophe as faced by Japan in the past weeks. According to the apostles of Feed-forward control, the management needs to enforce "active anticipation of problems and their timely prevention, rather than after-the-fact reaction". (Kreitner 2008)
Silverlight Inc, is an IT based MNC organisation with a few hundred employees working in the Vermont branch. Assuming the breakdown or fault in Vermont Nuclear Plant due to natural catastrophe such as an earthquake requires immediate action to secure the safety of the company's resources-both tangible and intangible ones. The immediate exposure to radiation combined with the fears of impending disaster of a nuclear meltdown is one that presents a double jeopardy for the organisation. The immediate priority would be to secure the safety of the staff personnel by moving them out of the city along with their family to a safe zone. This can be co-ordinated by the local rescue groups in advance by shared planning. A proper alarm system to warn each employee needs to be in place along-with clear instructions on the steps that need to be followed in case of such emergency.
The intangible resources of the company include knowledge management and effective controls to prepare a transfer of data to backup servers. This needs to be in place to ensure smooth functioning of the organisations' delivery schedules worldwide. Since Silverlight Inc. is an IT concern, it is critical that the data and project backups be in place for this sort of emergency in any of its offices. Thus there should be cross-mapping of roles transcending the verticals across the organisation in latent form which can be made active within least amount of time in case the need arises. Proper insurance planning for the facilities ensures loss mitigation tactic for the company's overall balance sheet.
Due to the fact that nuclear disaster is one with long term impact and there could be need to permanently shut down the Vermont offices, it is advisable to chalk up a plan for the substitute facilities in terms of other offices in the safe zone from which the employees can operate till the threat is diminished. In case of multinational corporations it is easier to shift the projects to other locations offshore which bring down the cost of the projects. The quality of the projects can be ensured by supervision from project managers who were working in the original location.
This is a process of planning and alike every plan there is bound to be need for improvisation according to the circumstances. Yet crisis planning helps in preparing the organisation for the worst situations and mitigating the damages to the extent possible. The Japan disaster has earned the unfortunate distinction of being the costliest ever with a ticket size of $300 billion which surpasses all others in history of mankind. (Ed.Reuters 2011) Thus the learning from the tragedy of the past disasters can be effectively used to control the extent of future ones.